Category Archives: Commercial

2016 Consumer Electronic Show

The Consumer Electronics Show is over and the word around town is that it wasn’t a whole lot different from the 2015 show when it comes to AV electronics. Not surprising to us as we generally get wind of anything really HUGE hitting the market, at least in our industry.
Lew & I attended CES back in 2010, shortly after I joined the business. It was the year the super thin LEDs TVs were launched. Now that was exciting. An entire convention hall filled to the brim with thousands of flat screen TVs set up in every possible contortion by the big name manufacturers; Samsung, Panasonic, LG, Sony. Truthfully, it was overwhelming, but very cool to see.

It was also the year of 3D TV and yes there were quite a few people that looked rather green after trying out the new glasses. There was still some work to be done and perhaps still is to this day.

What is interesting is that some of the futuristic products back then are now making their “go to market” debut this year, and they are even more impressive, such as smart appliances. If you want a refrigerator that can tell you via an app what the inside of your refrigerator looks like, then it is here now. With an infrared camera inside, you see the contents via an app and then can stop by the store rather than call your kid to ask if you are out of milk.

Wearables are very big this year. From smart bracelets, to belts to ski vests, electronic manufacturers are counting on consumers expanding beyond the smart phone for information.

Robotic devices are also the rage. AI technology we once only saw in the movies is now becoming a consumer reality for security, information, cleaning, and even simply friendship, with limitations of course.

If you’ve never been to the Consumer Electronics Show and that inner geek has you curious, you won’t be disappointed. One…it’s in Vegas, Two…its dirt cheap, if not free and Three…you are more than welcomed by a hoard of manufacturer reps who want to sell you on their latest & greatest device that will…maybe…be available that year. Of course, I spent my time in 2011 learning about wall mounting brackets, cables, and other non-exciting but totally necessary products for an AV integrator. Yes…they do have pretty much everything at CES. Maybe, just maybe we’ll go to the 2017 show. It has been awhile and…it is in Vegas. Yippee!

Written by Bonnie Little

What can cause erectile dysfunction. Part 2

Ring Video Doorbell

Time Magazine said this is “One of the top 10 Gadgets of 2014” and we agree. The ring video doorbell replaces your regular doorbell. It is about 5” H and 2 ½ W which includes a mini camera & the doorbell unit is available in 4 different finishes to blend in with the exterior décor.

This doorbell is connected to your portable device, i.e. smart phone or tablet. When someone rings the doorbell, an alert is send to your device and then with the touch of an app, you get to see who is at your door. It works with both IOS & Android devices and even has a motion detection so if someone is near the device it will activate an alert before they even ring the doorbell. How cool is that?

While they do tout Easy Installation (no professional help required), we do want to recommend you have above basic networking knowledge and some handyman skills. In addition, while it can replace the old doorbell, some doorbells may be in locations that make them undesirable to remove so it could involve installing this at a new destination point & finding a creative way to remove or cover your existing doorbell.

Learn more at www.ring.com.

What can cause erectile dysfunction. Part 2

The NEW Apple TV

Apple TV 4 Features

Compared to Apple TV 3, the new model adds (or omits):
• Dolby Digital 7.1 (vs. 5.1)
• 802.11ac Wi-Fi
• HDMI 1.4
• HDMI CEC control
• No optical audio output (not good in our opinion)
• Improved tvOS interface and navigation tools
• Gaming
• Universal search across platforms including iTunes, Netflix, Hulu, HBO and Showtime
• 4K potential … maybe (HDMI 1.4, 802.11ac)
• A remote control with Bluetooth, enabling screen navigation via touch surface, Siri voice (dual mics) and gesture (accelerometer and gyroscope). Like the original, the new remote has an IR transmitter, as well as dedicated volume up/down buttons.

Most reviews by AV integrators that have gotten to play with the new Apple TV 4 have been positive. However, there are many questions about integration into existing sophisticated home systems, and usage with Android devices (is it even possible?).

The Apple TV 4 is expected to arrive at the end of October. Our recommendation: If you buy one & switch it out with the new Apple TV 4, keep the old device in case you have problems. You may need to put the original Apple TV back until you can get an AV specialist out to solve any compatibility problems.

What can cause erectile dysfunction. Part 2

Confusion over Network products?

It only takes watching TV one night to see a communications carrier commercial touting their high speed cable access. So, of course, as consumers we all believe that when they connect their router up in our home, all our Internet connections and streaming will be as described.

To better understand why you have dead zones & slow Internet & streaming in your home, it is best to first understand what you are getting from your communications carrier. You are essentially receiving a router. A router actually comes with 4 devices inside it: a router, an access point, a network switch & a firewall.

A router is a device that forwards data packets along networks. A router is connected to at least two networks, commonly two LANs or WANs or a LAN and its ISP’s network. Routers are located at gateways, the places where two or more networks connect.

An access point is a device that allows wireless devices to connect to a network. It is the radio transmitter receiver of a Wi-Fi network. Most routers have built-in access points which must be connected to a router in order to provide network access. In either case, access points are typically hardwired to devices, such as network switches.
A switch is a device for the interconnection of hardwired devices. A switch is connected to a router port that will take the data toward its intended destination.

Firewalls are frequently used to prevent unauthorized Internet users from accessing private networks connected to the Internet. All messages entering or leaving the internal (secured) network pass through the firewall, which examines each message and blocks those that do not meet the specified security criteria.

Now that you are thoroughly confused by the overlapping definitions, other than the firewall, let me make a point. Generally, when a homeowner is not receiving the signals needed in the home from the communication carrier’s router, the consumer purchases an additional router or an access point or a switch or a combination. Then, after spending all that money & time on these products, the network is no better than it was and sometimes even worse.

Without fully understanding “networking” it is very easy to buy the wrong product or to even degrade the existing system. Your communications carrier is selling you the router that does carry the speeds they talk about on TV. However, once that device is installed in your home, there are a number of factors that come into play to degrade those speeds; number of IP addresses, structural blockages, simultaneous usage, heavy need of broadband such as gaming and more. Upgrading to an even higher speed router from your carrier is not going to solve your problems either, since all the other internal factors have not changed. An experienced network specialist can determine how to get you optimum performance by setting up the correct network infrastructure within your home.

What can cause erectile dysfunction. Part 2

Wireless Internet Becoming Popular Outdoors

According to the American Society of Landscape Architects 2015 Residential Landscape Architecture Trends survey, amongst other things, wireless internet is becoming very popular now for homeowners to put outdoors.

It appears more people want better WiFi while lounging on their patio or enjoying the pool and are looking for solutions. Companies such as Ubiquiti have made outdoor wireless access points for years but mostly they were purchased by businesses such as country clubs, restaurants and such. Home & Office Network Solutions has seen a recent surge in HOAs installing wireless coverage at their pools as their homeowners demand more services for their community dues.

The cost for outdoor WiFi can vary mostly because the size of coverage varies. A home with a very large yard and a pool extending deep into the yard would require several access points whereas a patio or porch would need just one. Most homeowners do find that their indoor WiFi just doesn’t carry well onto their porch. There is major lag time & drops, if they get coverage at all, so many consumers have to depend on cell coverage, which can get costly based on the plan purchased from the carrier.

As consumers depend more & more on using their cell phone & tablet wherever they go, including their own backyard, we may just see wireless internet move up the list of architectural trends.

What can cause erectile dysfunction. Part 2